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On Settlements, Agreements and Legitimacy: Part II

Continued from Part I.

“IT HAS LONG BEEN RECOGNIZED that being a minority is not necessarily a tragedy. All nations,” writes Bibi Netanyahu, “have their minorities. The tragedy is to be everywhere a minority.  This was precisely the situation of the Jews before creation of the State of Israel.” [1]   [emphases added]

In setting forth in writing, therefore, as early as 1922, the legal basis for formally recognizing the legitimacy of constructively restoring the Jewish National Home in—and, ultimately, independent Jewish majoritarian sovereignty[2] over—its then-sparsely populated, scarcely cultivated,[3] ancestral motherland (plainly, the only logical place for it),[4] the Mandate’s Preamble had pointedly cited

…the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and… the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country…[5]

Nor was it even remotely the League’s contention that it was presuming here to impose something ‘new’ in the area on behalf of an ‘interloper.’

Quite the contrary—and just as the US Constitution, for example, does not venture to create or confer ‘new’ rights (which may thus be subsequently withdrawn by the bestowing party, or its heirs or assignees), but, rather, only to acknowledge and protect rights which are understood to have preceded its own existence, and are unalienable:  this Mandate’s clear raison d’etre, was from the moment of its birth to recognize and guarantee the continuing, long previously extant and never relinquished, lapsed, nullified or superceded rights of the still intact, worldwide Jewish nation—which was indissolubly linked to the land in question through a long, unbroken history in it.

The only element in all this which could be said to be truly new was that now, for the first time in a couple millennia, and henceforth, those ongoing rights were to be safeguarded by public institutions, leading to independent statehood—and unlike EVER before, with the sanction, now and in-perpetuity, of international, civil law.

The Mandate Charter and the San Remo Resolution undertook likewise to ensure that the CIVIL, PROPERTY and RELIGIOUS rights of the area’s unspecified (as to name) and undelineated (as to form), non-Jewish communities would not be surrendered or compromised. Those communities, however, did not then—even as they did not ever in the past (when Palestine had been part of Syria)—possess POLITICAL rights [i.e., sovereignty] in Palestine that could be ‘surrendered’ or ‘compromised,’ or ‘preserved.’ [6]

These conclusions find concurrent expression and development in the remarks of the distinguished author and diplomatic envoy, H.E., Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and Former Ambassador of Israel to the UN [1997-99]:

Significantly, the League of Nations Mandate did not create new rights, but rather acknowledged a pre-existing right which, in the view of the international community at the time, had clearly not been forfeited by the Jewish people or suspended by international law after successive empires occupied and ruled Jerusalem and the rest of the area of Palestine in the intervening centuries.

Indeed, while the mandate documents for Syria and Iraq called on the French and the British to “facilitate the progressive development” of these mandates “as independent states,” the Palestine mandate related to the need to “secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid [down] in the preamble.”  [Article 2]

This had legal significance, for the declarative language about the historic rights of the Jewish people that appeared in the preamble was linked to the binding operative language of the Palestine Mandate.  When the Council of the League of Nations confirmed the Mandate in July 1922, it acquired the force of law. [7]    [emphases added] 

Yet now, transiting the opening year of the twenty-first century’s second decade, the CEO of the Great American Enterprise and alter ego to the Teleprompter-of-the-United-States (TOTUS)[8] has the gargantuan effrontery to be demanding that the State of Israel—authorized representative, agent and guardian of the sovereign Jewish People (the duly designated heir and lawful beneficiary of the Mandate)[9]—ignore the fact that the indefeasible Title Deed to the parcel has the Jews’ name written virtually all over it§ (and nobody else’s, anywhere on it), and that the Jewish State instead end what the cheeky Chief, resorting again to the trendy, formulaic spin, characterizes as “the occupationΣ which began in 1967”: a further flight of rhetorical fancy—in which the aforesaid Mr Erekat, once again (surprise, surprise!), avidly, vigorously and instantly joined him. 

Here, however, our designing President and alter-TOTUS (together with those in whose malicious downdraft his thinking is ensnared) is seen, to put it courteously, to be “laboring under a misconception”—both as to history and as to law:  The fateful year of 1967 did not betoken the ‘beginning’ of any occupation.

Rather, it marked the end of one: a REAL occupation, if you will, which had begun some 19 years earlier.

At that time, Jerusalem’s Old City and in fact the entire eastern portion of the then-overwhelmingly Jewish[10] capital of Israel:  the sector containing the Temple Mount and Kotel HaMa’aravi, its Western Wall,[11] as well as Hebrew University, the City of David, Hadassah Hospital, etc, together with the provinces of Judea, Samaria and Gaza—all of which lands & locales were part of geographic Palestine, the historic Land of Israel, and which had been originally intended by the League, and thus so projected in the international Mandate and its commissioning (and never legally vacated or superseded), San Remo Resolution, for incorporation within the Jewish National Home—had been unlawfully seized from the United Nations temporary trusteeship,Λ and retained, in defiance of the Security Council, by two of the five neighboring, Arab states.

Any and all Jews who had survived the merciless assault and massacres that attended those seizures had then been expelled (quite literally, at gunpoint) from those areas—in an unadorned policy of ethnic cleansing—by the military forces of the offending, Arab border countries.

The armies and air forces of those five powers, together with troop detachments from three other Arab armies, had all invaded the then-newborn, Third Jewish Commonwealth, on the very day in 1948 [15 May] that she declared her independence:  upon the (anything-but-orderly) withdrawal of the now-caretaker shell of the former British Administration—the Mandate having been surrendered to the UN by the long-temporizing, increasingly perfidious, at-length rejected, (ultimately) “less-than-honorably discharged,” Government of His Britannic Majesty. 

The bombs and artillery shells of the regional aggressor states had descended rudely from the sky, while their armed, and armored, brigades rolled in on the land—from all sides, like a ravening wolfpack—to join the local ethnic Arabs (today, 62 years later, styling themselves “Palestinians”):  led at the time by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the notorious and enthusiastic Nazi ally, Hajj Amin al-Husseini—who were already attacking and killing their Jewish neighbors. Why attacking and killing? To what end?

In this premiere of the ever-after continuing series of Arab-Islamist wars against the State of Israel, the invading and local assailants—those locals who didn’t evacuate the place so as to leave the field open and unobstructed for the invaders (and inspite of persistent urgings from the Jewish community that their Arab neighbors stay and help build the country as equal citizens)—had been animated by the earnest, explicit and openly articulated, dual objective of

  • utterly annihilating her while she was scarcely out of the womb; and,
  • to assure that she would thereafter stay dead, of, quite literally, exterminating her Jewish citizenry.

The war for Israel’s independence was, by any sober reckoning, a War of Survival, and all this, scarcely three years after the Final Solution—which evidently had not been final enough to suit the winsome aggressors, gleefully bent at the time, like petulant children (with Palestinian Arabs leading the pack), on stomping and crushing the fledgling state as they would an injured bug struggling desperately for life.

Any border delineating a purported, or proposed, sovereign Jewish entity from the Arab world, swore the Arab League’s “Azzam Pasha,”à would turn out to be “nothing but a line of fire and blood.” [12] (Some neighborhood, eh Toto? But then, we’re not in Kansas anymore.)

Of course the geopolitics of the invasion project were clearly apparent, at the time, to the naked eye, and those who look back from the comfort and prejudices of the present day and assume that the contemporaneous intentions of the invading states had anything whatsoever to do with “Arab solidarity”—let alone, with securing or defending the ‘national’ rights of the local Arabs—are simply deluding themselves. 

The truth, as was freely acknowledged by Azzam, is that it was the intention, at the time, of King Abdullah of Transjordany “to swallow up the central hill regions of Palestine [i.e., the earlier noted, heartland provinces of Judea & Samaria—ed], with access to the Mediterranean at Gaza.” The propinquity there of the locals was less an attraction for the King than an inconvenient impediment.

Furthermore (and again conceded by Sec-Gen. Azzam), the objective of the equally expansionist Egyptians was the Holy Land’s southern region, the Negev —while, to the North of Israel, Syria coveted the adjacent Galilee [just beyond the Samarian highlands]—and Lebanon, a chunk of Israel’s north coast as far south as Acre [Akko, at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay].[13] For these governments, solicitude for the well-being of Palestinian Arabs—who didn’t even live in those areas—provided but the sheerest of pretexts for the assault.   

As things turned out, the targeted victim managed actually to foil these malicious and murdeous plans (by turning the tables on the perpetrating parties)—albeit not without the anguish occasioned by

  1. great loss of life:  within less than 18 months, a full one percent of the existing Jewish population of Palestine, many of them tortured to deathР(one percent of this country’s [present] citizenry would well exceed three million)—as well as another five times that number, seriously wounded;
  • military expenses of half-a-billion dollars (for a postage-stamp-sized country, a king’s ransom, in 1940’s currency);
  • vital national infrastructure crippled and disabled:  roads and bridges bombed out and impassable, water systems shattered, the countryside horribly ravaged and grotesquely disfigured—“[m]any of its most productive fields… gutted and mined; its citrus groves, for decades the basis of the [Palestine Jewish community’s] economy… largely destroyed”; [14]
  • the forced sacrifice of a new country’s scarce communal resources.

These latter were greatly further strained when the all-but-exhausted, yet still raggedly breathing, Jewish state unhesitatingly opened its own broken and bleeding arms to subsequently take in, over a 40-month period, most of the 900,000 destitute, and non-Hebrew-speaking, Jewish refugees[15]substantially more than Israel’s then-entire existing and war-weary, surviving Jewish populace—who had been dispossessed (nor ever compensated) and formally expelled, or permitted to be forced out, by the vengeful Arab governments of

  • countries like Iraq, where Jews had been established, responsible, often-prosperous, loyal and engaged citizens or subjects in Jewish communities existing continuous and whole for millennia (some ever since the pre-Arab, Babylonian Captivity: 586 BC); and
     
  • other countries like Yemen, where communities of the Children of Israel had remained intact and unbroken since before Solomon’s day (990 BC and earlier), but where Jews had been oppressed by an ongoing and primitive, medievalist Islam for many centuries.à

The Jewish state housed them all; taught them all the Hebrew language; then educated them all, and found, or developed, employment for them all—at a cost of $1.3 Billion[16]  [$ Six Billion in today’s currency, which, had it been available instead for investment at a modest 6.5 percent over a 60-year period, would have grown close to a trillion today]. 

But the organized world community recognized where the blame for the conflict lay. In his subsequent memoir, the UN’s first-ever Secretary-General, the Norwegian socialist Trygve Lie, denounced the defeated Arab assault as “the first armed aggression which the world has seen since the [Second World] War”[17]    —and the world body acknowledged the legitimacy of the Jewish Commonwealth in ensuing resolutions characterizing Israel as a “peace-loving state” at the time she applied for UN membership in 1949.

AZZAM’S PROMISE OF an “extermination and a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades,” had been foiled. However, the illegal possession and occupation of the aforementioned, snatched territories did not end at this time—as the “Nefarious Zionist Entity” made no move to take them from the usurpers,[18] who continued thus to hold them, heedless of legal niceties. 

That wretched state of affairs was to persist for a couple of decades:  until after the two cited, aggressor powers, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan [until 1949, the Hashemite Kingdom of “Transjordan”] and the Arab Republic of Egypt [until 1953, the “Kingdom” of Egypt]—neither of which countries had ever been punished by the world community for the 1948 outrage—criminally yielded to the temptation, in late spring of 1967, to compound the former infamy.x

This they did by illegally using the unlawfully held Gaza and the unlawfully held eastern part of the truncated Israeli capital city, as well as those unlawfully held, heartland provinces (since 1950, opportunistically-renamed by Jordan as the “West Bank”)—in concert with a similarly never-chastised, third recidivist, neighbor culprit from the 1948 assault, the Arab Republic of Syria, now comparably misdeploying the Golan Heights—all as part of a multi-pronged launching pad for a meticulously planned and coordinated, unlawfully renewed invasion of Israel.

The projected “nutcracker” operation was to accompany a flagrantly provocative and dangerous, naval blockade:  a standard and time-honored casus belli in international law, a maneuver here intended to strangle the country by immobilizing all Israeli shipping—civilian AND military—to & from the South and East. By blockading the Strait of Tiran chokepoint at the southern extremity of the Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt intended to cut off Eilat—Israel’s chief oil port (and her only Red Sea port), the transit point of 30 percent of Israel’s mineral exports and her gateway to sub-Saharan Africa and Asia—this as great numbers of Egyptian and Syrian troops were massing on Israel’s borders.

Throughout this clash, where the repeatedly asserted watchword was to “turn the Mediterranean red with Jew blood,” the aforecited frontline aggressors enjoyed the active assistance of eight other sovereign Arab powers—including Sa’udi Arabia and Iraq, in addition to the PLO—together with major backing and resources from the then-superpower USSR.  In promising troops for the planned redoubling of the 1948 annihilation effort, the Sa’udi king, Feisal, had ominously avowed that “every Arab who does not participate in this conflict will seal his fate.” 

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, chief cheerleader and foremost instigator in this war, had addressed his country’s parliament with the words, “The problem presently before the Arab countries is not whether the port of Eilat is blockaded, or how to blockade it—but [rather] how to totally exterminate the State of Israel for all time.”  “The liquidation of Israel,” he had announced two years earlier, “will be a liquidation through violence. We shall enter a Palestine not covered with sand, but soaked in blood.”

And why not?—since, after all (as Pres. Nasser never passed up an opportunity to aver), “Israel’s EXISTENCE is itself an aggression.” 

When you have no case—beyond that of your own vaulting ambition[19]—clothe your nakedness by blaming the victim:  always a winning gambit (time-proven), and no one will care afterward (provided of course that the victim cooperates in his dispatching; an uncooperative victim is arguably the worst kind).

Now Algerian President Houari Boumedienne called for that same “liquidation.”  King Hussein of Jordan—who, in the end (despite admonitions from Israel to stay out of it, in return for which the IDF would leave him untouched), just couldn’t resist the temptation to pile on—exhorted his British-trained, and -equipped army [the Arab Legion] to “kill the Jews wherever you find them. Kill them with your arms, with your hands, with your nails and teeth.”  (The elegant Hashemite monarch was a man of many parts in those heady days.)

At Habbaniya, the Iraqi Ba’ath Party leader and President, General Abd al-Salaam Aref, had admonished his Air Force officers, “Brethren and sons, this is the day of battle to avenge…. 1948.  We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa.”  And just forty-eight hours earlier, on Radio Baghdad, he had declared Israel’s very existence to have been “an error, which must be rectified,” that thus the war’s goal “is clear—to wipe Israel off the map,” while from Radio Damascus came the ever-after, memorable command:  “Throw them into the sea.” 

And at a press conference, Ahmed Shukeiry, Nasser’s hand-picked, Beijing-trained, Palestinian Arab tentacle, the first [ever] Chairman of the PLO [formed by the Arab League, in 1964; hence, before Israel had acquired the West Bank or Gaza], declared the Arabs poised to “march to liberate the country—our country.”  Asked by a reporter what fate he had planned for the Israelis, his response was coldly characteristic:  “Those who survive will remain in Palestine. I estimate that none of them will survive.”

The bluntly indicated intentions of the perpetrators, as seen in the series of irreversible actions as well as the naked viciousness of the language, shook even the typically unflappable Times of London—where Philip Toynbee would write, “President Nasser affirms that the Arab intention is to massacre every Israeli or at least enforce the exodus of the entire Israeli population. These aims are wicked, mad, and insupportable.”  Yet global sympathies notwithstanding, Israelis knew better than to entrust their lives—or their hopes—to the squirrelly sentiments of an at-best fickle world community.  On the eve of violence, “[a] wry Irishman from Radio Eire said… he hopes the Israelis don’t win too easily. ‘Because my listeners are on their side now… so long as they’re the underdogs’.” 

How prescient he was.

THE ONCE-AGAIN, VASTLY OUTNUMBERED, AND THIS TIME, FAR MORE MASSIVELY OUTGUNNED, forces of the Jewish microstate were thus ob­liged, as an ineluctable requirement of elemental self-defense—and through su­perior intel coupled with audacious timing, incorporating a robust policy of vigor­ous preemption as well as creative strategies (to say nothing of the ingenuity born of grim desperation wedded to sheer gratitude for the Gift of life)—to liberate the stolen and noxiously-malused territories from Egypt and Jordan, as well as from Syriathereby decisively removing the lethal instrumentality of that triple-threat springboard—and, in the execution of that seizure, terminating thenceforth the Occupations.

The blockade was foiled, the invasion stillborn, the nutcracker cracked:  and the Jewish Commonwealth—once again—saved. The country took a long, deep, shuddering breath:  relieved to have dodged a bullet, elated to find itself for­tuitously possessed of bounds not only newly protective of the vital, vulnera­ble water supply for which state & nation had frequently, till now, been forced to fight—but also, at last, immensely more secure than those strategically precarious, pre­vious ’borders’ which had tempted, even excited, the aggression precipitat­ing (and necessitating) the war.

Israeli law was thereupon extended to the recovered eastern sector of Jerusa­lem, thus uniting the capital city of Israel:  the venerated City of the Great KingΔ and 30-century-long capital of the Jewish People—the only people at any point in time in all those centuries, and for better or for worse, to have ever bothered, or cared—or even proposed—to make that city its capital.

All of which quite naturally prompts two vital, inescapable (sets of) questions:

A.  Why were those Occupations—which were very obviously true occupations:  occupations in the classic sense of the word, and illegal occupations, to boot—why were those Occupations not an issue to the law-abiding, world community of nations at any point in all those 19 years; the question of ‘occupation’ never in fact arising until such time as possession of the territories was securely in Jewish hands? 

Jordan’s “annexation” of “East Jerusalem” and the “West Bank,” to be sure, was never recognized by any Arab states (which had long distrusted the Hashemite monarchy’s ambitions); nor, for that matter, had Jordanian annexation ever been recognized by any other states apart from Pakistan and Britain.Ŋ

Yet, why no Arab protest of the Occupation itself during those two decades? nor—while we’re dwelling on politically correct dogmas—

  • any demand for independent “Palestinian” statehood in those then Arab-held provinces?
  • or in the then Arab-held “East Jerusalem”?
  • or in the then Egyptian-held, Gaza Strip?

during those years, from anybody in the Arab world: including the Palestinian Arabs“ (of the “West Bank,” Gaza and “East Jerusalem”) themselves?  Not a word. Not a peep. Not a hiccup. How come—hmm?  

But you know the answer to that one.  (Oh, yes, you do.)

And:

B.  How can the existence of Jews anywhere in the historic Land of Israel—with a Jewish government OR without one—constitute, in any sense of the term, an ‘occupation’ of that which the very, selfsame, internationally binding, Resolution and Charter that, between them, created the lawful, juristic basis for the Jewish State, to begin with, say is theirs?—a question to which Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, former President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, had a sober and considered response:  It isn’t in reality an ‘occupation,’ he con­cluded in 1970, but a lawful presence.

After all, if the state from whose possession a territory was taken was not, jurisprudentially speaking, that land’s legitimate sovereign in the first place, then in what sense may that country—or the seized territory—be thereaf­ter said to be “occupied” in the second place?  Perhaps the territory in question could, for that moment, be argued to be of disputed ownership.  But most surely it could not be rightly characterized as “occupied.” [20]

WHAT, THEN, IS WRONG with this whole—amply documented, readily verified, altogether historically confirmed—picture?  And who’s minding the store anyway?

(So much for “past agreements,” apparently—eh, Hope’n’change?)

It would appear indeed that the normal claims to supremacy over us all, that are naturally asserted by the impersonal majesty of Law, are to be trumped by the purely expedient ones insolently presumed upon us by ‘legitimacy’—or so some would have it.

Moreover, this rancid, surly spirit of prejudgment against not only the Jewish communities in Israel’s own capital but also those in her “West Bank” heartland is implicitly and increasingly asserted without heed to the fact that the buffer-zone presence of those sentinel cities, villages, townships and developments (often strategically situated athwart the optimal, and actual, former Arab invasion routes), far from posing the “obstacle to peace” that even the more cordial of earlier US administrations had once summarily and peremptorily labelled that presence, has, in practice, proven an obstacle, instead—to full-scale, regional war

This is readily witnessed by the eloquent and enduring testimony of the past four, regionally quiescent, decades—and in sharp contrast to that of the quarter cen-tury ending with the founding of most of the Jewish towns and hamlets of Judea and Samaria after the (yet again, illegal) Arab invasion inaugurating the subsequent, October 1973, Yom Kippur War (the last regional, multistate conflict, to date, in the series).

Equally warranting of careful consideration is the undeniable fact that it was only the Israeli government’s horribly ill-advised, astonishingly boneheaded and arguably illegal (by contrived, procedurally corrupted, ersatz-legislative fiat)Ґ decision in 2005, and army-implemented operation late that summer, to forcibly evacuate all 9000 of its own, resident Jewish citizens from the 21 thriving, indus­trious, unobstreperous Jewish communities of Gaza—and the consequent power vacuum created inevitably thereby—that made possible the Palestinian Arab electoral burlesque of four months later (a cheery enough choice:  to fertilize the garten of succeeding generations of fresh-faced, ethnic-Arab kinder with EITHER the bovine manure of Fatah OR the porcine manure of Hamas, most assuredly an embarrassment of riches)—thus opening the way, the following year, to the vicious, bloody coup [June 2007] that brought to prominence there the more openly baneful (though perhaps less cleverly calculating) of the local death cults, Hamas. 

This latter has since become an Iranian-bankrolled catspaw—whose blood-obsessed, Jew-hating operatives, thus set loose and with now none to stop them, in turn, went promptly to work deliberately recreating their personal playpen and club fiefdom, the Gaza District, as a war zone: from which now greatly augmented numbers of Qassam and Katyusha rockets and mortar shells bombarded the civilian populations of the Israeli cities and towns of the western Negev and the southeastern Mediterranean littoral for some three harrowing years (a five-fold increase in said launchingsҖ to add to the previous five years of same; nearly ten thousand rockets in those eight years), and despite countless warnings to desist—thereby precipitating the inevitable, three-week-long, Operation Cast Lead, the long-overdue, Gaza War of late December 2008 and January 2009:

a war which the sanctimonious world community, true to its latter-day form - and with the cooperation of His Wonderfulness’ (then-incoming) administration - has, ever since, had the brassbound gall to blame on the long-suffering and patient-to-a-fault, but finally fed-up, utterly exasperated Israelis.

Thus, again, and in the teeth of all the tortured reasoning that had gone into justifying the reckless “disengagement plan,” ensuing events clearly showed (now even for many who had been wanting in the most rudimentary common sense to have visualized it beforehand) that it was not, in truth, the presence of Jewish settlements that brought on war. Quite the contrary (and by then, at long last, indisputably), it was the removal of them that did that—although, as usual, the derisive, dismissive media, diplomatic and academic ‘brain’-trusts remain, even this long afterward, cretinously slack in connecting the neon-bright dots.

This sobering realization, that withdrawal of Jews is what promotes war, ought to give pause to any myopic meddlers who would see as prudent and reasonable (you know, ‘legitimate’) the like banishment of the established, lawful and peaceable Jewish communities from any part of the Israeli capital or from the Judaic “West Bank” patrimony of Yehudah in the South and Shomron in the North. Yet such is presently contemplated by those who, by now, should truly know better. The connection between Jewish withdrawal and Arab attack should give pause, moreover, for starkly pragmatic reasons that can, at length, no more easily be ignored than the abiding legal ones can be denied. 

Which brings this observer to what perforce has got to be the bottom line in all this: which was, after all, never, in essence, the issue of legitimacy itself, but rather, and more precisely (as the Supreme Leader has noted in his painstakingly pre-pared phraseology)—that of the overweening and condescending Mr Obama’s nonacceptance of legitimacy with respect to the aforesaid, heartland communities. 

Very well, then:

In his own, Most Hallowed Name, amen and everlastingly (or at least till 2012)

—or in the name of his non-Senatorially answerable, foreign policy coterie of

  • globalist grifters;
  • fawning, ex-media sycophants;
  • latter-day, propeller-head wonkies;
  • transnationalist trumpsters;
  • redistributionist, neo-Fabian ideologues;
  • and Sixties-retro, heavy-revvie, Maoist power-trippers (or perhaps the late-blooming, Jurassic Park, original version, lo and behold):

all of whom are collectively sworn to “not rest” until this administration’s warped agenda is imposed from-sea-to-shining-sea, like a cheap suit on a rhesus monkey in a mad scientist’s laboratory

—His Wonderfulness, Master Hope’n’Change, The Anointed One, whatever, is at liberty to "accept" or "not accept" whatever he ruddy-well pleases. 

What he plainly—what he absolutely—has neither authority nor power nor liberty to do:  regardless of what he pleases, and regardless of what he posits, and regardless of what he implies—and regardless of what sweet nothings the long-entrenched, Arabist, State Department bureaucracy, OR Miz’ Hillary herself, OR the likes of Bill Ayres, or Rashid Khalidi, or George Soros, or Zbigniew Bzezinski (or Robert Malley, Samantha Power, et al.), murmurs into our soapy Savior’s trusty BlackBerry at three a.m. on cold, dark, lonely nights—is render that which is altogether and entirely legal any less ‘legitimate’ by merely pronouncing it so. 

Not in OUR name, he blooping-well can’t.

Not if he chants the pernicious innuendo 310 million times—while holding hands with Evan Thomas and slapping High-Fives with Chris “Tingles” Matthews—as he gazes down with them, Giddy & Goofy, from “above the country, above the world… sort of God.” 

Not if he tweets his carefully canned concoction directly to Brian, Katie and Diane, while telepathing a “thrill” up all of their tingly, trembly thighs.

Not if he instructs Team Obama to order an endless loop of the Kafkaesque-Orwellian double-whammy to run 24/7 on CSPAN—and posts it on Facebook and YouTube for good measure; truly our Kool-aid cup runneth over, Amen and Amen.  

Not indeed if he puts in a personal appearance (TelePrompTer-expedited, of course, and introduced by the 20th Century Fox Fanfare) to mouth the maleficent malediction at half-time on SuperBowl Sunday, right out there on the astroturf: complete with blissed-out twinkies fainting on-cue in the bleachers, while adoring cheerleaders sprightfully festooned with jouncing, bouncing pom-poms, and bodily decked out in faux fur-trimmed, translucent, tiger-striped hotpants, faithfully replicate the meticulously choreographed maneuver in T-formation all over the line of scrimmage—even as the Charlatan-in-Chief, the eternally swelligant, elegant, Hope’n’change, stands ever-at-the-ready, personally handing out half-litre, earth-green bottles of Evian to ‘revive’ them.

Legitimacy should be made of sterner stuff, you say? 

Oh, but it is. You bet, it is. The quintessential, preeminent legitimacy of the Law is a damnsight more substantive and enduring than a narcissistic, ward-heeling, “community-organizing,” Southside Chicago Machine politician, former street hustler and aspiring Kabuki artist—even one who’s been to law school, yea verily (and on a nod from the disembodied demons of P.T. Barnum, no less)—will ever know how to conjure, bewitch or transmogrify.

Nor can such-a-one (or any other one) guilefully and insouciantly persist in seeking to subvert public perception of the lawfulness of the Jewish People’s presence in the actual cradle of its birth and history:  in order to prepare the ground for a cynically presumed-comatose, stateside populace to accept the unambiguously racist, religiously bigoted and heartlessly permanent, ethnic cleansing of Jewry from that very cradle—not without disgracing, betraying and outraging, the august and honored station that, at bottom, strictly the sheerest luck-of-the-draw ever allowed him to occupy in the first place.

Furthermore, any transitory tenant of the Executive Mansion (Past, Present or Future) who presumes to play Santa Claus with the legally acknowledged, authentic and rightful, national territorial patrimony of the Jews (let alone, their strategic security): by giving away—or by diplomatically pressuring, or otherwise extorting (or seducing), any passing Israeli government to sign away—state sovereignty over the “West Bank” provinces or over so much as a square centimeter of the city of Jerusalem, or over  any other lands within the Mandated borders of geographic Palestine, is—by linkage of the earlier cited Anglo-American Convention—insidiously placing himself and his worthy office (as well as, by extension, the American People, who entrusted him with the power of the position) in open violation of Article Five of the Mandate Charter.

That provision held not only His Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom (as designated Mandatory), but also, by way of supervision, and as early as 1922, each-and-every government of the League Council (unanimous signatories to this sanctioned and subscribed Mandate)—and, by their accepting of League membership, the governments, as well, of all League member nations, including the Arab member, the Hejaz in NW Arabia,J together with the subsequent Arab inductees into the ranks,Ѫ these latter entrants’ enrollment explicitly conditioned by, among other things, their recognition of all the League Mandates—and in addition, per operation of the Convention, from 1925 forward, the government of THIS country: all of said governments to be

responsible for seeing that no Palestine territories shall be ceded to or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign power.[21]    [emphases added]

Not that the Convention represented, in any sense or measure, a breaking of new ground as to America's resolve or purpose toward the Jewish people. A month before the League had even ratified the Mandate, a Joint Resolution of Both Houses of Congress, the Lodge-Fish Resolution [HJR 322], "Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,"[22] had made the matter clear. That Resolution, adopted [30 June 1922] without so much as a single dissenting, abstaining or “absent” vote from any legislator of either party, in either chamber, was signed into law by President Warren Gamaliel Harding less than 90 days later [21 September].

In so doing, however, he was merely carrying forward an honored, enduring American tradition extending as far back as this country’s founding, and to even our colonial period before that—which tradition had persistently borne witness to Americans’ earnest, heartfelt wishes for the restoration of the Land of Israel through the recovery of sovereignty there of the people of Israel.[23]

Such is of course hardly to suggest that the entire government of the American Republic has always and consistently reflected the plainspoken, perennial cordiality of its populace toward the Third Jewish Commonwealth, or (before Israeli statehood) toward the prospect, plan or progress of the Jewish restoration that anticipated the Commonwealth. The political reality is such that, where the very structure of government is, like that of the US, federal (i.e., non-unitary)—and where the exercise of power is, moreover, designedly arrayed as to operate by way of checks-&-balances, any notion of universal and unaltering, internal governmental accord in regard to virtually any matter amounts to nothing more than a sickly-sweet pipedream.

Certainly the White House, for example, and the Executive Branch generally—unlike the more directly and popularly  responsive, Legislative Branch (as embodied in the less-varyingly forth­coming, and congenially pro-Zionist, US Congress)—has waxed and waned, seemingly with the phases of the moon, as it were, as to both view and intensity in its outlook on the Zionist enterprise.[24] And, since the late 1960’s, that goes increasingly, as well, for a calcified and clueless, smugly elitist, mainstream media.

The essence of America, however, is to be found where the French statesman and acute observer of the American scene, Alexis de Tocqueville, found it as early as the Jacksonian 1830’s:  in the dominant and self-renewing—indeed self-correcting—communitarian ethos and voluntaristic associations of her people.  And neither this people’s instincts nor its national Constitution (which has in many respects shaped those instincts) will long be denied, rest assured.[25]

THERE CAN BE NO DENYING or ignoring the fact that a United States President who dishonors or disregards the Mandate Charter has, in the act, violated similarly the Anglo-American Convention—by which instrument (as well as the congressional Resolution that preceded it), it is made clear beyond cavil that US domestic law does indeed “accept the legitimacy” of, not only the Jewish communities within incorporated Israel, but also, in point of legal fact, those everywhere from the banks of the Jordan to the shores of the Mediterranean, inclusive and without exception. And anybody who doesn’t like it is welcome to walk west (or east) till his hat floats.

Furthermore (and whether through ignorance or arrogance): in fouling and trashing that duly ratified, and never repudiated, never nullified, never superceded, Treaty—the acknowledged and actionally defensible, Supreme Law of the Land everywhere across the fruited plain (and articulated rights & duties within treaties, having no statute of limitations, we should note, do not, as a matter of course, ‘expire’ with their original incorporating instruments)[26]—an American Chief-of-State thereby stands likewise, and pari passu, in contempt of his own solemn oath of office,[27] and in defiance, as well, of Article 2, Sec. 3 of the US Constitution, which demands that he “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

In the matter, then, of whether the artful, calculating Imamabama Immaculata: he with peculiarly recurrent, unblushing penchant for recourse to words like “I” and “my” (a habit starkly persisting in curious counterpoint to a sequestered personal paper trail)—justly, or even accurately, reflects the outlook of AMERICA in his ‘not accepting the legitimacy’ of which he and his ambitious, chief diplomatic engineer, pressure-monger and loud-mouthed, pink-pantsuited, dagger-broad speak—to say nothing of the question of whether indeed the said Anointed One well-and-truly mirrors the INTENTIONS of America regarding the inherent, monstrous threat his attitude represents toward continued Jewish habitation in the Land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—well, the American People themselves, not yet writhing in agony, perhaps, but now, all the same, unmistakably deep in the throes (and exhibiting ever more pronounced symptoms) of “Buyer’s Remorse”[28]: recently attested electorally thereunto in the Republic’s periodic, trick-or-treat tryst with the ballot box,Þ may well have something to say about all that, soon enough.

This watcher’s dollar-to-your-donut says the very proposition (both parts of it) is, in any case, at its core, and will by unfolding events be rudely shown to be, yet another load of fetid dingo’s kidneys—and that what the quintessentially clear-eyed, Ambassador Bolton, fittingly denominated some 18 months ago the first “post-American” administration (one which is already, I warrant, well-overdue for a nice, long, rest) will, under the watchful eye of a merciful Providence, turn out to be likewise the last of that rogue and misbegotten species. But we’ll see, presently. 

It’s midnight—a magi­cal moment in human experience, that has often been seen to carry with it its own scary potential for mischief—yet the night is passing.

Stay tuned.  And keep your seatbelt fastened.  Bound to be a bumpy ride.

Legitimacy, indeed.

 _______________________________________________ 


Appendix:   THE PRINCIPLE AND DOCTRINE OF ESTOPPEL

The following few introductory notes come from Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed.: Centen­nial Edition, 1891-1991 (West Publishing, St Paul, MN, 1990). A brief discussion, ex­cerpted from earlier-published remarks of legal scholar Howard Grief, of the application of estoppel to the rights at issue, will begin immediately after the cited Black’s Dictionary notes.  Where this observer has found it constructive and appropriate, emphasis and/or interpolation has been added, and noted. 

From Black’s, Centennial Edition, 551:

“Estop:  to stop, bar or impede; to prevent, to preclude.

“ ‘Estoppel’ means that [a] party is prevented by his own acts from claiming a right [includ­ing a right to disclaim an erstwhile duty—Author], to [the] detriment of [an]other party who was entitled to rely on such conduct and has acted accordingly…

“[‘Estoppel’ is a] principle that provides that an individual [or sovereign power—Author] is barred from denying or alleging a certain fact or state [of] facts because of that individual’s [or power’s] previous conduct, allegation or denial…

“[‘Estoppel’ is a] doctrine which holds that an inconsistent position, attitude or course of conduct may not be adopted to [the] loss or injury of another…”

 From Black’s, Centennial Edition, 552:

“By ratification [as indeed the US Senate did ratify, on 3 Dec 1924, the Anglo-American Convention—ed], [a] party is bound because he intended to be, while under ‘estoppel,’ he is bound because [an]other party will be prejudiced unless the law treats him [i.e., the first party] as legally bound.”   [emphases added]

 Howard Grief’s remarks on the applicability of estoppel to the post-Mandate situation:

“This doctrine prohibits any state from denying what it previously admitted or recognized in a treaty or other international agreement. In the Convention of 1924, the United States recognized all the rights granted to the Jewish people under the Mandate, in particular the right of Jewish settlement anywhere in Palestine or the Land of Israel. Therefore the US government is legally estopped today from denying the right of Jews in Israel to establish settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which have been approved by the government of Israel.

“In addition, the United States is also debarred from protesting the establishment of these settlements, because they are based on a right which became embedded in US domestic law after the 1924 Convention was ratified by the US Senate and proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge on December 5, 1925.

“This Convention has terminated, but not the rights granted under it to the Jewish people.

“The American policy opposing Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is a fit subject for judicial review in US courts, because it violates Jewish legal rights formerly recognized by the United States, and which still remain part of its domestic law.

“A legal action to overturn this policy, if it was to be adjudicated, might also put an end to the American initiative to promote a so-called “Palestinian” state which would abrogate the existing right of Jewish settlement in all areas of the Land of Israel that [would] fall under its [i.e., the contemplated ‘Palestinian’ state’s—ed] illegal rule.”  [emphases added]

[Howard Grief, “Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel and Palestine Under International Law,” NATIV online: A Journal of Politics and the Arts, Vol. 2, 2004:  www.acpr.org.il/ENGLISH-NATIV/02-issue/grief-2.htm]
 


§ A cursory glance reveals at least 15 explicit, textual references to “Jews,” “the Jewish people,” “the Zionist organization,” “the Jewish Agency,” etc., in the Mandate Charter’s 28 Articles and Preamble.  [Take four minutes to Google & read it through, now that you’ve had a taste—ed.]

Σ  The word and the phrase in which it appears are, like the legitimacy mantram, favorites with the current administration, though unlike the latter sophistry, the presumption of Israeli ‘occupation’ preceded by multiple administrations the tiresomely repetitious pronouncements incorporating it by the saponaceously slippery occupant of the Oval Office & his shriller SecState, as well as, now, those of the increasingly meddlesome Madrid Quartet (UN, US, EU & the Kremlin), formed 10 Apr 02.

Part of the reason is that successive Israeli govts have failed to assert Jewish National Rights under the Mandate and San Remo.

Λ  The UN successor to the League mandate repository.

à   Abd al-Rahman Hassan Azzam [1893-1976]—pan-Arabist Egyptian diplomat and first-ever Secretary-General [1945-52] of the then three-yr-old, seven-state League (now 22 members & 4 observers), founded in Cairo [22 Mar 45]—and great-uncle to al-Qa’eda’s Egyptian-born mouthpiece and 2nd-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

y  Great-grandfather to Jordan’s present ruling monarch, Abdullah II.

Р  As torture is endemic to Arab culture, it is a routine part of the Arab way of making war as well. (And when this observer uses the word “torture,” he doesn’t mean “water-boarding”; he means torture.)

àAll the foregoing was to be added to the burdens which were certain to attend the newly emergent Commonwealth’s willing and tender welcome, within the same time frame, of an equal number of Jewish “displaced persons”—many, now without families—the traumatized and emotionally spent, surviving remnant from the smoking cauldron of Holocaust Europe.

 BBC News Broadcast, 15 May 48.

x Nor were they ever punished for this one.

Δ   Ps 48:2, Mt 5:35.

Ŋ The UK govt rec­ognized Amman’s “West Bank” annexation, but not the similar attempt with “East Jerusalem.”

Ґ  If that sounds far-fetched in “the Mideast’s only democracy,” how does a Prime Minister (like Ariel Sharon) “firing” key, but dissenting, legislative committee members—in order to create artificial majorities —sound to your ears?  (But then, only in a democracy would such an action be illegal.)

Җ  Hardly surprising, as Tehran has paid a premium for each-&-every rocket launched, and mortar shell fired, by Hamas into Israel since the 2005 Israeli withdrawal.

J Mohammad’s area of origin, the region and early 20th century kingdom containing the Muslim holy cities of Mecca & Medina—ruled after WWI by the Messenger’s Hashemite descendants:  until it was overrun, violently usurped and at-length absorbed, along with most of the peninsula, by the marauding, Wahabi-sparked, House of Sa’ud (based in the neighboring Nejd, the peninsula’s central & eastern plateau).

Ѫ  Iraq in 1932 and Egypt in 1937.

ÞThat last time—not very ironically—just a couple days after Halloween.



[1] Netanyahu, Ibid., 166

[2]  At the outset of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the era’s foremost proponent of the principle of national self-determination, Woodrow Wilson, then 28th President of the United States, declared on 14 Jan 19, in a meeting with Chaim Weizmann, Chairman of the Zionist delegation to the Conference, his firm belief that "the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own [i.e., American—-ed] Government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth…" [emphases added]

[Quoted in David Hunter Miller, My Diary of the Conference of Paris(1924), Vol. 4, 263-64; cited in Katz, Op. cit., Appendix D]

[3] The eminent French geographer, Vital Cuinet, had noted in his exhaustive, meticulous study of the region, roughly 15 years after the khalutzim (pioneering Jews) began the first of their serious—painstaking and Sisyphean but determined and unflagging—land reclamation efforts in the late 19th century, that barely one-tenth of the land was under cultivation. Yes, you did read that right—it’s not a typoone-tenth, even as late as 1895. 

(After the place had sustained 13 centuries of abuse & neglect, you were expecting, what—“a land flowing with milk and honey”?—the Garden of Eden?—the Elysian Fields?  Try, rather, scorching deserts, malarial swamps, eroded hillsides, empty watercourses, etc.)

 [Vital Cuinet, Syrie, Liban et Palestine, Géographie Administrative, Statistique, Descriptive et Raisonnée (E. Leroux, Paris, 1896), 583-84].

[4] Princeton scholar of Islamic history & culture, Bernard Lewis, has noted that from the end of the Judean state [late winter, AD 135] to the beginning of modern-day, British administration [Dec., 1917] —and for the intervening two millennia of Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Islamic rule—Palestine was politically submerged. What’s more, because for those millennia the area had no separate political identity, the various ethnic groups who migrated there—unobstructed and unhindered in the wake of the Land’s loss of Judaic sovereignty—never acquired or developed any identity different from those they brought with them.

Thus, remarks Netanyahu, by way of elaboration,

up until the twentieth century, the name Palestine referred exclusively to the ancient land of the Jews—-as did the names Judea, Judah, Zion, and Israel. It had never yet been argued [by ANYONE—-ed] that there existed a “Palestinian people” other than the Jews.

The Arabs who lived there were called Arabs, just as the Armenians, Turks, Druze, and Circassians who migrated into Palestine were then still called Armenians, Turks, Druze, and Circassians. With the exception of the Jews, who called the land Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) and viewed it as their national home, all of these groups considered themselves as living in the realm of Southern Syria. [emph.add.]  [Netanyahu, Op. cit., 5n]

And Reverend Parkes adds the observation that

…Jewry has nowhere established another independent national centre; and, as is natural, the Land of Israel is intertwined far more intimately into the religious and historic memories of the people; for their connection with the country has been of much longer duration-in fact, it has been continuous from the 2nd millennium B.C.E. up to modern times…

The Land therefore has provided an emotional centre which has endured through the whole of their period of “exile,” and has led to constant returns or attempted returns, culminating in our own day in the Zionist Movement. [Parkes, Whose Land? Op. cit., 10]

[5] Charter, Mandate for Palestine, Op cit., Preamble, Par. 3.

[6]  No other existing people had, as a matter of historical fact, ever held sovereignty over the land (viewed as a discrete entity unto itself, not part of any larger land configuration). Property rights and widely varying degrees of religious & civic freedom (and non-freedom) there had been accessible at various times to a multiplicity of peoples [e.g., those cited herein, n. 32, supra]—but only the Jews had ever had political sovereignty there. Retired attorney Wallace Edward Brand notes:

The Mandate preserved the civil and religious rights of the local Arabs but did not create any political rights for them. It did not and COULD NOT “preserve” any political rights in Palestine for local Arabs in  PALESTINE, as they never in history had any. [boldface in original; CAPS & underscore added]

As to political rights, the local Arabs were no worse off than they were under the Ottoman rule from 1520 to 1920, the British suzerainty from 1920 to 1948, or the Jordanian rule from 1948 to 1967. 

[Wallace Edw Brand, “Israeli Sovereignty Over Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria,”www.thinkIsrael.org/brand.jewishsovereignty.html]

[7] Gold, The Fight for Jerusalem, Op. cit., 123.

[8] Believed to have been first coined by nationally-syndicated, newstalk radio talk show host and former Mayor of San Diego [1992-2000], Roger Hedgecock, on or about 2 Jul 10—ed.

[9] The most assiduously researched and thoroughly addressed study on the subject of both sovereignty over, and actual ownership of, the disputed provinces is the recent and long-awaited treatise of the earlier-cited, international legal scholar and Jerusalem attorney [Appendix, supra], Howard Grief, The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel Under International Law (Jerusalem, 2008): a major undertaking, 25 years in preparation, and the present era’s perhaps-definitive work on the jurisprudential basis for the Jewish State—and which explores the matter exhaustively, with clarity, precision and courtesy for lay apprehensibility. [Available from Mazo Publishers, Jerusalem:  054-7294-565 / USA:  1-815-301-3559. www.mazopublishers.com

Of further value here, for its aptness & concision, is attorney Ted Belman’s “Summary of Israel’s Legal Rights to Judea & Samaria,”www.think-israel.org/belman.israelownssamariajudea.html; and, as well, for its comprehensive clarity, Wallace Edward Brand’s compendious [above-cited] “Israeli Sovereignty, etc.”   

[10]

Population of Jerusalem in 1948

Proportion of Whole:  expressed as a Percentage, rounded to whole figures

Jewish

100,000

61

Muslim

40,000

24

Christian

25,000

15

Total

165,000

100

 

[Figs.:  John Oesterreicher & Anne Sinai, eds, Jerusalem (John Day, NY, 1974), 1; Israel Central Bureau of Statistics; Jerusalem Foundation; Municipality of Jerusalem; cited in Mitchell Bard, Myths & Facts:  A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict (AICE, Chevy Chase, MD, 2001), 263]

The Encyclopedia Britannica quotes the mid-19th century, Ottoman census indicating that the latter-day [viz., non-antiquarian] City of Jerusalem had had a plurality of Jews as early as 1844—and a British consular report cites a clear Jewish majority by 1863. [Foreign Offc Recs (FO), 195/808 British National Archives; cited in Gold, Op. cit., 277]

[11] AKA the “Wailing Wall”—with the Hulda Gates and the Southern Wall, one of the few standing vestiges of the Second Temple, whose massive, half-century-long Herodian rendering of King Solomon’s original (and Zerubavel’s reconstruction) was destroyed by Flavius Titus in AD 70—only a few years after it was completed.

[12] Ahron Bregman and Jihan El-Tahri, Israel and the Arabs (TV Books, NY,1998), 28.

[13]  Efraim Karsh, “The Palestinians, Alone,” NYT, 1 Aug 10.

[14] Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel:  From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, 2nd Rev. Ed. (Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1996), 353

[15] Within a few short years of Israel’s War of Independence, remarks historian Ya’acov Lozowick (Director of Archives at Israel’s Yad Vashem), a spiteful Muslim world “had rid itself entirely of its Jews”—emptied itself of them—leaving tiny pockets in Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo. And then, all memory of this awesome convulsion disappeared from the world’s consciousness—-if it had ever been noticed in the first place.  [emphasis added]  

[Ya’acov Lozowick, Right to Exist:  A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars(Doubleday/Random, NY, 2003), 103]

The Jewish refugees from Arab countries had lost everything: conservatively estimated, in today’s US dollars, at nearly $100 Billion in confiscated individual and communal assets. And the UN offerred these now-wretched and -impoverished human beings—in contrast to the relief and assistance it readily provided to the considerably lesser numbers of Palestinian Arab evacuees (and in contrast, as well, to the generous support the organized world community has continually provided to several succeeding generations of the latter’s rapidly proliferating descendants ever since, and now well into a seventh decade)—absolutely nothing.

The infant Jewish state did not hesitateWithout ever missing a beat, and notwithstanding its own stressed and straitened condition, it stepped forward with cordiality and succor—substance and care.

[16] Henry Atkinson, Security and the Middle East:  The Problem and Its Solution (Ballantine, NY, 1955), 164

[17]  Trygve Lie, In the Cause of Peace (Macmillan, NY, 1954), 174.

[18] Elie Wiesel has echoed the author’s observation that, as dear as the land was to the Jewish People, it was not regarded as purely real estate (even sentimental real estate), and did not come into their hands through an acquisitive spirit, viewing war as a means of self-aggrandizement. What Wiesel notes here about Jerusalem could perhaps as easily be said, as well, of other territories previously seized by Arab powers during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, and acquired by the Jewish state as a result of the same June 1967 clash that brought her into possession of the Old City and indeed a unified capital:

It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the 1967 war against Israel, the Old City of Jerusalem [whose Jews had previously been killed or expelled, in a naked policy of ethnic cleansing, by Jordan’s British-trained-&-commanded, British-financed-&-equipped, Arab Legion: in 1948—-ed] would still be Arab.

Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem, they would not kill for Jerusalem.  [emphases added]

[Elie Wiesel, “For Jerusalem,” publ. simultaneously, 16 Apr 10, IHT, WASHPOST,WSJ-—and two days later, NYT]

[19]  Leaving aside Col. Nasser’s socialist–tinged, pan-Arabist fantasies for the Middle East and the African continent, it is interesting to note that, some years before, he had written of “a hero’s role seeking an actor to play it.”

[20] Moreover, observed Judge Schwebel,

[w]here the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title. It is a matter of history that Israel only entered the West Bank in self-defense. It is also a matter of record that the UN rejected Soviet efforts to have Israel branded as the aggressor in the Six-Day War.[emphasis added]

[Stephen Schwebel, “What Weight to Conquest?” American Journal of International Law, 64 (1970): 345-347]

And Rostow reiterated the case even more bluntly and expressly by noting that Israel’s legal claim to the disputed areas is stronger than that of “any other nation or would-be nation.”  [emphasis added]

[Eugene V. Rostow, “Don’t Strong-Arm Israel,” The New York Times, 19 Mar 91]

[21]  Charter, Mandate for Palestine, Op. cit., Art. 5.

[22] US Congressional Record, 1922, 67th Congress [Sess. II ], Chap. 372, House Joint Resolution 322:  National Home For the Jewish People, 30 Jun 1922, Unanimously Adopted; signed into law 21 Sept 1922, by Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States.

Harding had actually expressed personal appreciation and support for the Zionist enterprise several weeks before the Resolution arrived on the floor of either chamber:

I am very glad to express my approval and hearty sympathy for the effort of the Palestine Foundation Fund, in behalf of the restoration of Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people. I have always viewed with interest, which I think is quite as much practical as sentimental, the proposal for the rehabilitation of Palestine and the restoration [to it] of a real nationality. [emphases added]

[Warren G. Harding, Letter to Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren HaYesod), 11 May 1922; cited in Carl Sferrazza Anthony, “The Most Scandalous President,” American Heritage, Jul/Aug 98, 55]

[23]  Wrote, for example, John Adams, second President of the United States, some years after completing his term of office, “I really wish the Jews again in Judaea, an independent nation, for as I believe…once restored to an independent government and no longer persecuted, they would soon wear away some of the asperities and peculiarities of their character.” 

[Letter of John Adams to Maj. Mordecai Manuel Noah, 1819; cited in Nahum Sokolow, A History of Zionism (Longmans, Green & Co, Bombay, 1919), Vol. 1, 59]

What’s more, a grassroots-generated petition, originally addressed to our 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison, and his Secretary of State, James G. Blaine—and which contained the signatures of hundreds of prominent Americans not only in government but also in industry, journalism, publishing, finance, academia, the ministry (Protestant as well as Catholic), etc—proposed to concretize in political action the same, above-noted sentiment that Adams had expressed.

The saga of the petition’s development and history is a story all unto itself. It came to be known as the Blackstone Memorial of 1891, and antedates by several years the publication of Der Judenstaat and the Herzlian beginnings of the modern movement of political Zionism.

[24]  In fact, among Executive Branch elements, the State Dept bureaucracy, in notorious particularity, has for several decades evinced an attitude toward the Jewish state and its foundational antecedents that swung (or oscillated) between snide condescension and unconcealed contempt.

Those who assert that American governmental support of Israel has been invariably indulgent and uncritically yielding could profit from a reading of Professor Ezra Sohar’s A Concubine in the Middle East:  American-Israeli Relations, Trans. from the Hebrew, Laurence Weinbaum (Gefen Books, Newlett, NY,[email protected], 1999).  From Prof. Sohar’s translated text:

Whenever Israel’s existence was endangered—-the American [govt’s] attitude was denial, disavowal and renunciation. And there are no indications that this pattern of behavior is likely to change in the future…

Remarkably, even during the years of close American-Israeli military cooperation [essentially, the two decades of the Seventies and Eighties-ed], the [presidential administrations of the] United States never ceased pressuring [the respective govts of] Israel to accept Arab political demands.

There was a clear dividing line:  Strengthening Israel’s military power, in order to curb Soviet infiltration into the Middle East—-yes.  Support of Israel in the struggle against its neighbors—-no! If the arms Israel received also served to strengthen it in relation to the other states in the region—-this was no more than an unavoidable and even undesirable side effect…

[T]here was never a real marriage between [the govts of] the United States and Israel. There was no unconditional support of one another, only close relations restricted to certain matters.The American attitude was reminiscent of the way one would behave towards a concubine or kept woman.

Everything she needs to fulfill her task is financed: a cozy apartment, nice furniture and a comfortable bed. She is provided with modern and attractive clothing and cosmetics—-of course on these one tries to economize—-but her true well-being and her future are matters of lesser concern…  [emphasis added]

An eyeful—to say the least—and, on consideration, not very easily refuted. 

[25] One can’t help being reminded, at times like these, of the observation of the ever-quotable and dependably dry-as-Beefeaters, Winston Churchill, that “Americans can always be relied upon to do the right thing….[pregnant pause]….after they’ve tried everything else.”

[26] Long-settled practice; known colloquially in international jurisprudence as the Acquired Rights Doctrine, and codified in law in 1969 as an integral part of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties [informally, “the Treaty on Treaties”], Article 70 (1) b:

Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree, the termination of a treaty, under its [own] provisions ORin accordance with the present Convention, does not affect any right, obligation or legal situation of the parties created through the EXECUTION of the treaty prior to its [i.e., the treaty’s] termination[emphases added]

[27] United States Constitution, Art. 2, Sec.1, Par. 8, Cl. 2.

[28]  Known more formally in the American Manual (not yet in print or online—nor to be confused with the more staid, Merck Manual, where the entry is still pending) as Boughttussa Pigginnam Pokenamus Americanus: not typically fatal but unfailingly excruciating, and in many quarters, highly contagious; lowered threshhold of susceptibility associated with risky electoral behavior of a cyclical nature, believed to be brought on by residual restlessness tied to relative youthfulness of the society under scrutiny; incubationary period [non-exhibiting] can be of broadly varying protraction.



Michael Zebulon was once the youngest Eagle Scout on the eastern seaboard, but has lived most of the ensuing half-century on the “other” coast. He passed a genial 18 months in a controlled environment [1969-70] as a guest of the Federal government after courteously, albeit resolutely & impenitently, declining its gracious proposal of conscription in a questionable cause. (The prison system is still recovering.) Your affable author is an actor, a narrator and, as the spirit moves, a writer. He is still an Eagle Scout—there are no ‘former’ ones—but is no longer the youngest. Still, if you don’t hold that against him (or even if you do), you may contact him at[email protected] An earlier version of this article appeared at Think Israel.

 

 

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